Starting in the summer 2009, the new service will be available on all 2010 model-year, SYNC-equipped Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. Ford expects to sell one million cars embedding this technology this year alone. After the U.S. Ford SYNC will go global in 2010 starting in Europe, then migrates to Asia Pacific and Australia.
To put together this solution Ford has partnered with Microsoft and other recognized companies - INRIX (watch our interview with INRIX here), TeleNav, Tellme (a Microsoft subsidiary), M/A-COM and Airbiquity.
Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development at Ford, said a key difference and an important competitive advantage for Ford is that the company has no interest in developing its own proprietary system. "We have an open system that accepts hardware and software products and applications," he said. "We are striving to deliver technologies and applications to customers with speed, scale and affordability that no other automaker can touch."
Ford also announced a new partnership with leading electronics retailer Best Buy, to help build SYNC awareness and provide tech support through its Geek Squad.